Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pushing the body and mind to resume normal status.

 Jalsa , Mumbai                  June 5,  2012                            Tue  11 : 11 PM

Pushing now ! Pushing the body and mind to resume normal status. Its reassuring at times when the mind thinks the same as your body. It just spurs you up, brings back the spring in the walk, the world seems wonderful again, and most importantly you begin to feel that no matter what the odds, you can fight your way through. But … yes but … there are many of those buts before you get to that stage. No harm in talking about it. Talking helps at most times. Often with those you trust, almost always, when you talk to yourself.

I have often wondered at times, does it really help talking aloud to yourself. Perhaps. Perhaps when in the confines of your own environment and by yourself. Or when in the company of those that work along with you on a project that sounds and behaves similar. Often on set when things go wrong, you first control sentiments within. And when it continues, you search for excuses. Which is quite laughable really, because you are the only one that is finding the excuse ; the others know there was none. And finally the best of them all – admittance ! Admitting that the fault or mistake was mine. It takes a lot to be able to do that, but once done you discover how light and free you feel, and why in the first place you didn’t do it earlier. Apart from the freedom it brings you, it does other as well. It stops any further comment or expression from the others. And you discover the beauty of this space.

Telling those that question you that you have faulted, is to me a description in the clarity of the mind. Nothing is held back, and so the fear of burden no longer exists. The more we load our minds with unnecessary and unworthy weight, the greater the agony, not so much of the burden, but of the turbulence it causes as a result of it.

During filming there are moments when you could be in the middle of an important scene, emotional, requiring all your faculties to be concentrating on the subject of the moment, a worked up inside that has at the time of delivery, put yourself in the most terrible thoughts. And as you perform with all the feelings pouring out, the film in the camera runs out, or one of the lights suddenly switches off and ‘cut’ is sounded and you have to perforce stop, rewind, reinvent that moment of grief within and start all over again. It has happened many a times with me, and somehow I have always felt that what began as a first, never could be recaptured again. There are times when you do extensive rehearsals for the camera, not just so they know the operations well, but also get an idea from the assistants what the probable length of the shot would be. Most cameras today, apart from the digital, have a magazine of 450′ of film. Rare are the occasions when footage beyond this would be needed for one shot. But there are exceptions. Long monologues are preferred by artists to be done in one single take without the camera cutting, and if they go beyond the 450′ limit then it is often suggested that another camera also be used, which, at that crucial time, when the film from one is about to be running out, is switched on, so that the continuity of the performance is maintained. It is a little disconcerting, but certainly manageable. Many exciting moments in cinema have been captured thus. Two that immediately come to mind have reference to films I have worked in – the last speech in ‘Baghbaan’ and the last speech in ‘Raan’. But there are others too, particularly some of the drunk scenes – the one in ‘AAA’ and in ‘Satte pe Satta’, that have helped the continuity of the performance. There have been examples of songs that have been done in one shot. The song in ‘Araadhana’ by the fireside between Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore is a single take shot without the camera stopping. Many other examples are there too, but that would take too long to describe.

Goodness !! We started from ‘admittance of fault’ and have ended up in cinema and its techniques. And in doing so have been through a tense tennis game between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga … which has just ended in the former’s victory. Paris .. Rolland Gaross … World no 1 from Serbia and World no 5 from France and you can well imagine the atmosphere in the stands !!

The laze sets in … and I need to tend to my body with an equipment that now requires my time and undivided attention ..

Good night .. Shubh Ratri .. Shabba Khair ..

Amitabh Bachchan

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